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In Conversation with Alison Norman

A Journey of Power and Passion!

In the world of franchising, there are franchise owners who not only run successful businesses but those who also inspire others whilst doing so.  One such person, is Alison Norman, a seasoned Monkey Music franchisee with a special story. We sat down with Alison, to talk about her Monkey Music journey and to understand her motivation to grow her Monkey Music franchise portfolio over recent months.

The start…

Alison's journey with Monkey Music began as a Monkey Music teacher. In 2003, and as a highly popular teacher, she went on to train as the franchise owner for Monkey Music Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks. Alison derives immense satisfaction and a sense of purpose from her business.

“I have always found owning a Monkey Music franchise incredibly fulfilling, as we provide such a meaningful and joyful service for local families", she says.

Ready for a New Challenge

Alison’s career at Monkey Music took an exciting turn earlier this year, when she decided to expand her franchise portfolio by acquiring two additional Monkey Music franchises. She was highly motivated to take this significant step. "After 20 years at Monkey Music, I was ready for a new challenge," Alison reflects. By growing her Monkey Music portfolio, Alison saw an opportunity to challenge herself in new ways whilst building on her core skills and developing as a leader and business owner.

Time for a Change

The decision to expand her business was not only strategic but also deeply personal. Alison and her partner, Julian, had decided to change their separate working lives to work together as multi-unit franchise owners - quite a transition for them both as they committed not just to live together, but to work together!

Alison explained that there have been moments where she’s felt anxious about the next steps, but she trusts that the continued support from Monkey Music’s Head Office Support Team will enable her and Julian to thrive. “We received great support from the Monkey Music Head Office Team whilst working through the steps to acquire our two new franchises. There is always a well laid out and clear process at Monkey Music, so I knew we would be well supported as we worked through the necessary steps and training ahead of launching our new businesses this summer.

Personal Qualities

One of the reasons for Alison's ongoing success is her ability to build strong, committed teams. She believes that the success of any business depends largely on the shared goals and commitment of the people working within it. Her strengths are her openness, kindness, and tenacity, which allow her to keep pursuing her goals, even when facing challenges. These qualities, combined with her talent for enabling and connecting others, have been instrumental in her journey.

Excitement for the Future

Alison's enthusiasm for the potential impact and growth of her additional Monkey Music franchises is contagious. She looks forward to meeting new colleagues and introducing them to the world of Monkey Music, which brings joy to countless families. Her plans include expanding the reach of Monkey Music through new initiatives such as the brand-new Beautiful Noise programme for carers with newborn babies, and community outreach work in settings such as Nurseries and Care Homes.

As the Monkey Music Charity Ambassador

In addition to her busy career as a franchisee, Alison is also Monkey Music’s Charity Ambassador. Her dedication to raising funds for our national charity partner, Nordoff & Robbins Music Therapy, has been a shining example of how the Monkey Music community contributes to making a positive impact beyond its music classes. Over the years, Alison's role as Charity Ambassador has evolved, allowing her to explore new ways to support a cause that resonates deeply with Monkey Music's mission. She recently organised a huge fundraising effort for Monkey Music’s 30th anniversary which culminated, earlier this month, in ‘Team Monkey’ taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2023. Along with Monkey Music’s fundraising parties for Nordoff & Robbins, around the country, we’re aiming to raise £30,000 this year for the charity.

Balancing Work and Life:

Managing multiple franchises comes with its own set of challenges, including finding a balance between work and personal life. Alison notes the need to create clear boundaries and prioritise quality time with her family and she plans to take more breaks and enjoy personal interests while managing her franchises.

Guiding Philosophy:

Alison's guiding philosophy is summarised by this simple quote, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."  Alison is excited to be continuing her journey with valued colleagues at Monkey Music in this next new chapter, working on shared goals for the long term.

Posted: 27/10/2023